Are Elk Antlers For Dogs A Good Chew Toy?

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Today I started wondering “What About Elk Antlers For Dogs?”

You might ask why are you thinking about elk antlers for dogs?

Well, about a month ago I wrote a short blog post asking the question Are Deer Antlers For Dogs A Good Chew Toy?

Check out the link if you missed the story.

Up until recently I had heard lots of good things about antlers for dogs, but not long ago I had been made aware of some side effects from antlers as a chew toy and I was told by our guide dog school:

“We do not recommend antlers as a chew toy/supplement.”

Reindeer Antlers For Dogs
Reindeer Antlers For Dogs – Apache Christmas!

Since I had not ever purchased deer antlers for my dogs I figured it was not a big deal (being told that we could not give our dogs antlers as a chew toy).

However, I wanted to let everyone here on the blog know that there was a concern and I was hoping to hear your feedback thus I wrote the initial post.

Lucky for me we have an active audience that responded to our deer antlers blog post and left me some wonderful comments, answers, emails, and additional questions.

Here are bits of feedback we received from readers:

“I have had no problem and also purchase for my sons pup who also has no problems.” –C.H.

“GDD where I am raising my puppy from right now, says they are fine for the dogs and they are great chew toys.” –P.E.

‘My dogs love the antler chews, however you have to be very careful about the ones you buy.” –J.A.

“I just read your “deer antler” info and I am wondering if the elk antlers I have been giving my dogs are safe? THEY SIMPLE LOVE THEM AND I HAVE NOT NOTICED ANY SIDE EFFECTS. ” –JoAnna

After reading through comments and several emails I received after posting my deer antlers for dogs blog post I began to see a common theme.

First, everyone who responded had mostly positive things to say about the antlers they purchased for their dogs.

Second, it seemed that the most important point was to make sure you purchased your antler chews from a reputable source.

So perhaps down the line I will buy antlers for my dogs, but I will be sure to do research to find high quality antlers.

What About Elk Antlers For Dogs?

A second question that came to light were questions about elk antlers for dogs? are they potentially unsafe as well?

Since I have never purchased any kind of antler for my dogs I wasn’t too sure.  I went back to the original emails I received and conducted a little bit of internet research.

As someone who has not purchased, but only heard and researched antlers for dogs it seems to me that the worries from our deer antlers for dogs blog article are the same for all antler chews for dogs (deer, elk, moose, etc).

According to our findings the majority have found antlers to be a great chew for their dogs as long as you get your dog the right size and purchase a high quality antler product from a reliable source.

Here’s a nice thread on Elk Antler Chews: http://www.dogforums.com/dog-food-forum/100618-elk-antler-chews.html.

One person even mentions that his dogs love Elk Antlers even more than they love the Deer Antlers (which is a lot)!

I went ahead and dug even deeper into the antler for dogs market and found many different sizes and variations including deer antlers for dogs, elk antlers for dogs, moose antlers for dogs, and reindeer antlers for dogs

Here’s a short list of some of the antler products you can purchase from Chewy.

  • Deer Antlers – These are from USA Bones & Chews and we’ve used these with our dogs. A few things we like about this product is it’s a product of the USA, not treated with chemicals, and one has low odor which is the one big negative we have with bully sticks. The biggest complaint we see in the review section is the size of the antlers is not true to what is advertised.
  • Elk Antlers  – The Elk Antlers we recommend are from the same company USA Bones & Chews and has the same pluses we mention with the deer antler product. The biggest complaint we see in the review section is the size of the antlers is not true to what is advertised.
  • Moose Antlers – Okay folks we wanted to list the moose antlers even though we haven’t tried it yet. It is not as well reviewed and is from a different company. I highly recommend you read about these before purchasing. We’re considering trying this product with our dogs. Again biggest complaint we see in the review section is the size and how dogs go through it pretty quickly.
  • Reindeer Antlers – Reindeer antlers you say? Yep, in fact we love reindeer antlers…not as chews, but to dress up our puppies! It’s one of those things we do with our pups to get them used to being handled and learn to be tolerant.

From all the reviews I read through biggest complaints has to do with the size of the antlers. I was satisfied with my antlers, but as it was mentioned in the description size and shape vary since this is a natural product.

After researching, feedback from friends and family, and finally from reader comments here on the blog I feel much more comfortable about purchasing antlers for my dogs.

Although its something I cannot give to any of my guide dog puppies in training I may try letting my own pet dogs try the antler chews.

If my 2 boys do try the antlers for dogs I’ll make sure to report back to you and give a thorough review telling exactly what we thought about the product.

I know a lot of you have already chimed in through last months article on deer antlers for dogs.

However, now that the new year is upon us and many may have received antlers for our dogs as Christmas gifts what kind of experiences have you had with elk antlers for dogs?

How about any of the other aforementioned antler for dog products?

We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below.

UPDATE: We have used several types of antlers for dogs including Elk and Deer and haven’t had any problems. Our biggest concern is our dogs chipping or cracking a tooth. Antlers are very hard and this could be an issue as we’ve read in some of the comments on our blog.

If you decide Elk/Deer Antlers are right for you be certain to monitor your dogs when chewing on them.

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31 Comments

  1. I have a 7.5 pomerainian puppy who I bought split elk antlers at age 4 mos.
    She loves it
    Question is how do I know when to replace it? There is a lot of chewed off marrow missing

  2. We turned to elk horn chews after having a serious issue with our dog who was eating rocks and sticks. We purchased 2 rather large ones (10″ long and 1″ diameter) to ensure she couldn’t swallow or even break off pieces, which she has not been able to do and we monitor her chewing. She stopped eating rocks and sticks and loves the elk horn. We feel pretty safe with her chewing on it. It’s keeping her teeth clean and resolving her chewing issues.

  3. I have four dogs, three large (black Lab, boxer/Lab mix, Weimaraner and long haired Chihuahua). I use elk antlers and find the following to be true.

    I buy from reputable boutique pet stores or online suppliers. I buy X-Large whole antlers and make sure the “boney” part is very thick so my dogs can’t break them easily. I then saw them into quarters with a band saw. That means 4 for 1 in pricing, which makes them much more affordable. The sawing exposes the marrow which is the part they like and they just love them. They are like any chew, you must supervise them when they are new and keep checking them as they get older. We have had no side effects from them and it is a delight to see the tiny Chihuahua carrying around one of the very large antlers. She adores them especially after the big dogs get them started. I have two very heavy chewers and they seem very satisfied with the antlers. My boxer mix follows me to the basement to supervise the band saw stuff and tries to get me to give him first choice before I take them upstairs.

  4. Hi! So I have an Aussie pup who found one of my old baby deer antlers and was nibbling on it for a while. It started getting soft and he was loving it till I smelled it and remember one of my friends I believe used a bleach solution to clean it forever ago. As in over 6 years ago; I don’t know if I should be worried for my pups tummy and his health. It wasn’t very much and I looked up if this has happened before to anyone else by accident and couldn’t find anything. Any help or advice would be awesome.

  5. My 3 yr old mini aussie has always been an aggressive chewer and we bought him the best elk antler available online. He absolutely loved them and goes through at least 3 or 4 chews a year.

    Unfortunately, we had to take him to a veterinary dentist for a root canal and an extraction. Two upper premolars were cracked. The dentist told us the antlers most likely caused the crack and that dogs should not chew anything that you can’t put an indent with your thumb nail. (i.e. hard nylabones are not safe either. Dentist recommended rubber type kongs and some rawhide since they soften when wet)

    There’s nothing out there that’s completely safe. In hindsight, I would have not given my dog the antlers. It’s too difficult to tell if they will hurt themselves or not – especially if your dog is an aggressive chewer.

  6. I have not had any realty problem with my dog and her “antler chews”. At least what we have given her are litterally cut elk antler and a derived antler. She was able to break down and consume the deer antler after a few weeks. The elk antlers have been around for almost a year and she’s only been able to eat out the marrow. She loves to chew on them, but I am concerned that she is only wearing down her teeth on the elk antlers since sheet can’t seem to break them down. Tasha my dog is a 45-50lb dog

    1. If you have concerns about your puppy possibly wearing down her teeth you might have it checked out by your vet. Thanks for sharing your experience with elk antlers!

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